Happy customers spend more money: Ten tips for a creating a better user experience (UX) in e-commerce

6 min read

E-commerceToolkitsUser experience

Sam Selbie of the creative agency Whitespace explains how improving the user experience (UX) in website design can boost revenues

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The explosion of e-commerce in recent months is set to endure well beyond the coronavirus pandemic. But are you maximising the opportunity? Research shows that well-designed web sites that focus on UX perform far more strongly. Think about who your users are and what they need from you. Get that right and the sales will follow. Capgemini data suggests eight out of ten customers will pay more for a better customer experience; separate figures from Intechnic suggest 23% of customers who have had a positive experience went on to tell ten or more people about it. Get it wrong, however, and your sales will suffer. Intechnica says 70% of customers have abandoned purchases because of bad UX - and 62% shared those bad experiences with others.

 

Here are our top ten tips for creating a better UX.

 

1. Tell customers what you have

Your homepage should show as broad a range of your product categories as possible. Make sure customers get the message about everything you sell, rather than being misled into thinking your range is narrow.

2. Make it easy for customers to find what they want

Make sure your website lists your products logically. Group your products into relevant categories and then sub-divide these into smaller groups. Each group should be clickable, so customers can see all the products in this category.

Order your groups by priority, according to where your customer interest comes from. And avoid overlapping categories, where you’re using filters to help customers find products, they need to know where to look.

It also often makes sense to have a separate ‘accessories’ category - when users are looking for a product related to another product, they may look both in the category of the first product and in a separate standalone category.

3. Focus on the content that customers need

First, images matter. Show three to five images of each product - emulate the experience of customers in-store, who pick products up and look at them from different angles. Similarly, written content has to appeal to all customers. Use both bullet points and blocks of text to describe your products. Different customers have different preferences about how they consume content, so cater for all.

Video can also be a powerful tool. Video isn’t essential, not least because many users won’t watch it, and you need to do a good job. But if your budget allows, well-executed video content can be a brilliant way to showcase your products.

4. Reassure with your returns policy

Displaying an easy-to-read returns policy prominently will decrease customers’ purchase anxiety. If they know they can easily return products that turn out not to be right, they will be much more likely to buy.

5. Be honest and clear about delivery costs

Provide upfront delivery costs for every delivery option that you offer so that customers know exactly what they will have to pay for any given option.

6. Speak your customers’ language

Avoid brand jargon in your product categorisation and signposting, as many customers won’t know what terms specific to your brand actually mean. Use general terminology instead.

7. Give customers everything they need to decide to buy

Product list pages will ensure customers have all the information they need when they’re comparing all the products that you stock in a particular category; consider pricing, size, colour, product features and anything else that is relevant.

8. Organise specification sheets carefully

If you stock technical products, you need to provide the core information and additional detail that customers need to make their decision. Organise this data so customers can scan through it quickly and easily make comparisons. Divide the data up into easy-to-follow sections and pay attention to lay-out.

9. Don’t force customers into a relationship

Customers need to know they do not need to create an account with you to make purchases when on your site – famously, when Amazon addressed this issue, it saw sales increase by $300m.

10. Put purchasers’ minds at rest

Once users have made a purchase, your confirmation page should tell them that you’ve sent them an email to confirm it, what address this email has gone to, how long (in minutes) this email will take to arrive and what they should do if the email never turns up. Otherwise customers will be anxious that there may be a problem with their purchase.

 

You can watch Sam Selbie’s full webinar for more information.

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